- Match Report as Wigan Warriors come from behind to beat Whitehaven in pre-season.
- Wigan turned the game around with second half scores from Jacob Douglas, Alex Sutton and a Logan Astley double.
- FT | Whitehaven 14-22 Wigan Warriors.
A young Wigan Warriors side came from behind to beat Championship side Whitehaven in their opening pre-season game of 2023.
A youthful side took to the field at the LEL Arena as Wigan came from behind against Whitehaven in the first pre-season friendly of 2023. Under the watchful eye of Academy Head Coach, John Duffy, the Warriors side found themselves 8-0 down at the half time break.
Wigan came out rejuvenated in the second half as Jacob Douglas got Wigan over for their first, before make a break to send Logan Astley through a gap to put Wigan ahead. Whitehaven responded but Wigan took the win as Astley registered his second before Alex Sutton rounded off the 22-14 win.
Harvie Hill, who grew up close to the LEL Arena, captained the Warriors as the youthful Warriors side were tested early on. Whitehaven made the most of the early field position as they shipped the ball right to see Chris Taylor over for the opening score, Freeman’s conversion attempt was wide as the home side led 4-0 after 3 minutes.
Looking for a response, Wigan got themselves into good territory moments later but the Warriors were pulled for offside to hand Whitehaven the ball back before Whitehaven themselves were penalised for offside.
Wigan went lose on 11 minutes as Ramon Silva made a dart for the line before being held up. Kieran Tyrer put in a testing grubber kick on the next play, and despite collecting the ball Whitehaven were penned into the in-goal area to force a goal line drop out.
Wigan went close again a minute later as Logan Astley looked to send Junior Nsemba through a gap but the second rower couldn’t collect the ball and Whitehaven held firm.
On the 20 minute mark Wigan were left to rue more chances as the ball went forward before Jacob Douglas was forced into touch just a few minutes later. The Warriors were holding their own but Whitehaven extended their lead just after the half hour mark as numbers on the right hand side allowed Dixon to find his way over. Freeman couldn’t convert but the hosts took an 8-0 lead in at the interval.
Wigan looked determined after the restart and they went close within a few minutes but Sutton was caught high as he went for the goal line. Wigan were awarded a penalty, though both sides were down to 12-men as Whitehaven’s Jorge Cabral was sent to the sin bin for the high tackle along with Wigan’s Logan Astley for his involvement in the aftermath.
The Cherry & Whites took the advantage as they played the ball left from the penalty for Eckersley to send Jacob Douglas crashing over at the corner. Eckersley added the conversion from the touchline as they reduced the scoreline to 8-6 in Whitehaven’s favour.
Less than 10 minutes later and Wigan were in again as they took the lead for the first time in the match. Jacob Douglas was involved once more as he broke down the centre of the field to find the supporting Logan Astley who added the legs to score. The conversion attempt was off target this time but Wigan led 10-8.
It seemed to be all Wigan for the period as they went close again just a few minutes later, this time Douglas, who was causing some real problems, was held up over the line. Astley thought he’d extended the lead on the next play but the referee denied the score, awarding Whitehaven a penalty instead.
The penalty gave Whitehaven the possession and the field position and it worked in their favour as they got themselves back in front on 65 minutes. This time, former Warrior Jamie Doran was the scorer as he crashed over from short range, with Rourke adding the extras to make it 14-10.
Logan Astley levelled it in the 71st minute after a fantastic array of team play. Tom Forber made the inital break before a number of hands kept the ball alive and put Wigan in some good territory. Quick thinking from Logan Astley saw the half back chip the ball over the top, chasing it himself to touch the ball down and grab his second of the afternoon, Eckersley had no issues with the conversion this time as Wigan made it 16-14.
Almost immediately Wigan extended their lead, putting the game out of reach with another great bit of team play which eventually saw Harvey Wilson send the ball inside for Alex Sutton to fly onto and score under the sticks. Eckersley notched the two-pointer to confirm a 22-14 win for the young Warriors in game one of pre-season.
Whitehaven: Sam Freeman, Dave Eccleston, Chris Taylor, Karl Dixon, Curtis Teare, Jamie Doran, Alex Bishop, Lucas Castle, Marcus O’Brien, Dan Spencer-Tonks, Connor Holliday, Lachlan Lanskey, Perry Singleton.
Interchanges: Liam McAvoy, Dion Aiye, Jorge Cabral, Jake Bradley, Josh Rourke, Lewis Fairhurst, Ross Ainley, John Hutchings.
Tries: Taylor (3′), Dixon (32′), Doran (65′)
Goals: Freeman 0/2, Rourke 1/1
Wigan Warriors: Reagan Sumner, Tom Mitchell, Alex Sutton, Zach Eckersley, Jacob Douglas, Kieran Tyrer, Logan Astley, Harvie Hill, Tom Forber, Ramon Silva, Junior Nsemba, Finley Beardsworth, Harvey Wilson.
Interchanges: Tom Ratchford, Ellis Hobson, Adam Jones, Ryan Brown, Nathan Lowe, Kian McDermott, Dylan Kelly-Duffy.
Tries: Douglas (46′), Astley (55′, 71′), Sutton (75′)
Goals: Eckersley 3/4